What is copywriting?

I don’t want to teach you how to suck eggs. I don’t even like eggs. But for the benefit of those who stare glassily in the pub when I state my job title, I thought it might be worth noting down what copywriting actually is.

Let’s start with what it isn’t. Copywriting is nothing to do with copyrighting. I cannot prevent your work from being stolen by others so if intellectual property theft is your bag, you may want to redirect your browser.

What I can help with is communication. Copywriting is essentially the art of taking what someone wants to say and making it sound good to others. No one can force your customers to buy your products or ideas. But a good copywriter can at least engage them sufficiently to take what you’re saying into account.

The first step in this process is for you to realise you probably don’t have the time or the skills to write your website, brochure or advert. It’s amazing how many people think they can write only to sit down at their computer and realise that they’d rather be poking their eyes out with a blunt spoon.

If that’s you the best thing you can do is find yourself a good copywriter to do the hard yards at the computer on your behalf. This you can do by asking people who’ve used one before or typing what you’re looking for into Google. Hopefully I’ll show up but just to make sure, please bookmark this page.

Once you’ve found your dashingly handsome Sheffield-based man, the next thing you need to do is explain clearly what you’re looking for. This can be in the form of a written brief, a telephone conversation or a face-to-face meeting. Be sure to be specific about what you want though – copywriters we are, mind readers we are not.

The final ingredient to good copywriting is the magic part, where we take your brief back to our log cabin by the lake and use it as the foundation of a new masterpiece. Or at least something that other people will want to read. This invariably involves collating all source material including notes from the meeting, exploring different copy routes and writing and re-writing until all the eggs are sucked and your brilliant new piece of written communication has come home to roost.